Sarah Steelman / Todd Akin
1:40 pm
Wed May 18, 2011

Steelman criticizes Akin over federal budget bill

Missouri's Republican U.S. Senate primary is only one day old, and Sarah Steelman already is criticizing Todd Akin over federal spending decisions.

Steelman on Wednesday criticized Akin for voting for a "weak-kneed budget compromise" last month among House Republicans and President Barack Obama that cut $38 billion in spending.

Steelman says Akin should have held out for the full $100 billion in cuts originally sought by House Republicans. She called Akin and congressional Republicans "toothless dragons."

Akin, who announced his Senate candidacy Tuesday, said Steelman doesn't fully understand the issue. He said the budget bill was vital for funding for the Department of Defense, which was being hampered by the budget impasse.

Akin and Steelman both are seeking to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill next year.